Levitation Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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Levitation AleLevitation Ale

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very good

3,728 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,728
Reviews: 1,190
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 11.95%
Wants: 139
Gots: 336 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  4.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: xlperro on 09-27-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,728 | Reviews: 1,190 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of icetraxx
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a three finger creamy head that is just off-white in color. The beer itself is a rather dark shade of amber brown with some red highlights.
Some bottle conditioning haze is present. Laces well and holds a half finger head throughout the entire beer.

S: Citrusy hops, some tropical fruit, and a tad of earthiness. Pineapple is nicely present. Caramel and honey-like malt play around in the background. Very aromatic considering the low ABV.

T: Citrusy hops that oddly remind me of certain varieties of noble hops. The malt is rather thin as it is completely masked by the hops, which aren't too strong in this beer. There is a hint of earthiness and a suggestion of malt on the finish. The finish is quick and very clean. The low ABV reduces the in-your-nose flavor explosion you get with high ABV beers, but this beer has amazing hop flavor for the 4.4% alcohol it has to work with. Very refreshing overall.

M: Well carbonated and has a nice and creamy mouthfeel. Could be a bit thicker.

D: Very easy to drink, but I think I may get a little boring due the subtle flavor. This is a refreshing change from the hop bombs I've been getting used to.

O: A very good introductory IPA, but that is about it. A low alcohol, yet refreshing brew.

Photo of bum732
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a orangish red, decent head that dissipates. Smells of citrus hops, grapefruit and orange mostly, some pineapple, touch of caramel sweetness. Tastes of hoppy semi-sweet malt, lots of hop resin tastes, mostly grapefruit and orange. Touch of caramel sweetness, leads to a NW hop like bitterness, some pineapple as this beer warms. Finishes quite dry and crisp with some hop resin. Moderate to thin mouthfeel, good carbonation.

A solid session ale, definitely more geared on the hoppy side. This is a pretty dry beer, not much sweetness despite being an amber ale. I would've liked a little more sweetness, but still a nice beer, and very sessionable.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light copper color. Lacking the dry hop aroma you get in many Stone ales.

Taste, despite being I guess what you could call their "light" beer, this one still packs a lot of flavor. This is how entry level and session beers should be done. Ample malt and hops for its style. Mouthfeel, interplay of hops is even nicer than many Stone's as it doesn't smack you in the face (which is nice sometimes). Very drinkable, not pretentious, it is what it is, a very good beer that isn't "to the extreme".

Photo of mempath
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

nice bright red with light head and little lacing.

smell is a mild but spunky hopishness...not expecting that actually.

from reviews and comments i've read about this, i guess i was expecting something milder....and still, this is mild, but nice and hoppy flavor kicks through with little of the bitterness.

the mouthfeel is actually a bit mellow and seems to add to the lessened sense of hops...if that makes sense. some lingering hop bitterness...

there's something i like alot about this, but at the same time, it's like a decaf coffee...missing something...but not sure what.

for a hoppy amber, i'd take Nugget Nectar over this anyday, since we're talking flavor, not abv.

Photo of Farrell
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured cold into a pint glass at one of my local bars, Stone Levitation sports a surprising pleasant head with nice ruby amber appearance that gives off a nice hop aroma.

Flavors consist mostly of a hoppy toastiness which is very reminiscent of DFH 60 minute IPA, although this beer is much much lighter bodied in comparison. Citrus notes round off the flavor as well.

For a beer that is only 4.4% ABV, it packs a tremendous amount of flavor while retaining the drinkability that you would expect from this kind of offering. If I had but one complaint, I would say I found the mouthfeel to come off as a bit thin.

Overall, this is hands down one of the best beers I have ever drank that was under 5% ABV.

Photo of MrHassellYaHurd
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours into a pint glass a brownish orange with good clarity. A thin, off-white head descends into a cap, leaving great lacing.

Smells of slightly piney hops, sweet malt, and a little of citrus fruits.

A lightly roasted taste complements the gentle hops bitterness. The beer is balanced very well between the sweet grains and residual sugars and the hint of dryness. Another very well-done beer from stone.

Medium-bodied and lightly carbonated, the Levitation is a deliciously easy to drink brew.

Photo of dborginis
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a glass, very foamy head which is thin in texture. Color is a turbid brown copper. Light smell of roasted malt and hops, like a mini DIPA.

The first sensation in the taste is the light cremy watery taste. This is followed by a tasty amount of hops and roasted malt. Almost sublime. This wouldn't be acceptable for a higher ABV beer, but based on the low ABV and the intention of the brewer to make a quality light/low alcohol beer, this is spot on.

This is a fine session beer!

Photo of beertunes
3.13/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a semi-cloudy reddish-amber color with about 3/4 of an inch of tan head that decent retention and lacing.

A very hoppy (for the style) scent hits the nose, there's a slight spice in the background, but none of the expected solid malt foundation. The flavor was also very hop forward. That spice lingered at the back of the tongue and there was no noticeable malt presence.

The body was very light for this style. Drinkability was good, I could see having several of these without a problem. Overall, a very good beer that I like a lot, but as a red ale it's lacking. Perhaps if they called this "Red IPA", or something along those lines, it would give people a clearer idea of what to expect.

Photo of meeekyh
4.58/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From a 12 oz bottle into a belled beer glass in the Belgian style.

First off I would like to point out that I am reviewing this beer as Levitation and not as an amber. Ambers generally suck and this beer does not suck, nor is it particularly malty and it is hoppy in a way ambers are not generally.

Aside from that...

Pours a dark red-amber with a red tinted tan head. The lacing is notable.

Smells are very hoppy. Cirtus and pine along with malty notes.

The taste is sweet, bitter, tart, citrus, grain, grasses...

The mouthfeel is light, crispy and well carbonated.

Drinkability is high. I ma have revisited a strong contender for best session beer ever.


Photo of NNY2DC
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Two finger head that leaves a good deal of lacing tops an amber bronze colored ale. The hops are present on the nose and smell of pine or cannabis. The taste is not that big out of the bottle and leaves my buds wanting in the malt category but intrigued by the hops. The hops tone down any malt flavors in this beer but are not overwhelming to my novice taste buds.

The beer is very drinkable but lacks a full-bodied mouthfeel I was searching for from this award-winning brewery.

Photo of bonkers
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into my SA perfect pint glass. It pours a clear orange/ amber wtih a medium white head, slight lacing. It has a pleasant floral, piney aroma. It taste bigger than it is with strong pine that mellows out in a smooth finish. The beer is medium to light in body and has average carbonation. A very drinkable, hoppy, sessionable beer.

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clear mahogany with a fairly thick creamy off-white head. Aroma is strongly hoppy with cinnamon and woody undertones. Flavor is more hoppy than malty, only slightly bitter and with a warm woody/spicy undertone. Texture is smooth and edgy, fairly tingly, leaving a hoppy but not bitter finish. Another winner from Stone!

Photo of Pahn
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Best-before date: 3/22/10.

Appearance: Moderate pour yields a one inch, lumpy, pillowy just-off-white head that dissipates steadily leaving streaks of lacing. Color is dark, semi-translucent amber. Lacing sticks around the whole time.

Smell: Right as I crack the cap there's a big hit of hops with a strong grapefruit character. In the glass, the grapefruit remains strong, and is accompanied by some pine and a underlying maltiness. Somewhat reminiscent of Arrogant Bastard, but a bit more emphasis on citrus hops. As the beer warms, the aroma gets more sugary but the nice grapefruit note remains. Sweetness gets even fuller with warmth. Very nice.

Taste: First sip is smooth and malty up front, with an aggressive, bitter hop finish (very distinctively grapefruit tasting in character) that mellows into a nice grain aftertaste. Upon further sips, some reasonably strong soapiness and astringency come out, but they're not unpleasant. There's lots of grapefruit throughout, with some other citrus (orange?) and pine. A lot hoppier than I remember from bottles in the past or when I tried it recently on tap.

The hops grow in dominance, but the bitterness doesn't build up or become distracting/unpleasant. The finish gets rather dry with the hops lasting well into the aftertaste, but there's still a hint of bready malt. The entire flavor is primarily grapefruit and (to a lesser extent) pine, but there's always a solid (if understated and 1-note) malt backbone; a well-balanced beer. The subdued sweetness of the malt does its job mellowing the bitterness and soapiness. Great, balanced taste from start to finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with unobtrusive carbonation.

Drinkability: A full-flavored, well balanced beer with only 4.4% alcohol--very drinkable. I'll probably start grabbing a 6-pack of Levitation on some of the occasions I'd normally get a 6-pack of Stone IPA.

Levitation is an interesting beer. It's hop forward, but has a nice, mellow sweetness to it.

Photo of OzarkElmo
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle to shaker. Pours a deep amber with medium tan head. Caramel malts on the nose. Medium body and veery smooth on the palate. Tasty but not overbearing, typical of the style. All around a very good beer for sessioning. Superior quality IMO - cheers!

Photo of climax
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Levitation poured a brilliant glowing deep red. The pour was fizzy and quick to form a good head which faded to a web of sticky lace.

The aroma was excellent. Copious floral, grapefruit, and pine notes make up a substantial hop profile. The expected toasty malt balanced more as it warmed. Sweet caramel, oranges, and green grass are in there too.

Flavor is spot on where it should be, judging by the nose. The malt and hops both hit hard and balance perfectly. The initial blast of hops was grapefruit and pine resin. Those flavors held on well into the long bitter finish. The malt backbone has excellent strength as well.

The body was medium to slightly thin. It was a little watery, but only when I critiqued it did I really notice. The feel was slick and smooth with a pretty dry finish. More spunk here would have made this one about perfect IMO.

4.4%??? Yea, Stone made a big deal about it on the bottle, but there really is a hell of a lot going on in this beer. Whats better than an excellent beer? An excellent beer you can drink the hell out of before your senses dull completely.

Photo of MurdaMassMan
4.65/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh man, what a great beer. I'm in the midst of a little six pack sampler so to speak and this was #2 after toasted lager. The sampling is going from light to dark, both in color and taste.
Anyway, knowing stone I thought this would throw off my palate for beers to come... WRONG. What a great little beer from an amazing brewery known for Big Beers.

Appearance is a little dark, copper, brown look.

Smell: Nice and hoppy yet the malt really shines through. You can smell the sweeter malt bill. What is this anyway, an amber? Very unique, but not overbearing like an IPA or hoppy Pale.

Taste: Go try one! Frickin delicious. Full of caramel malts and slightly more carbonated than usual for this style which only benefits the hops and boy do they shine. Very well balanced.

Drinkability: All night baby. This beer goes down easier than that nasty toasted lager. Though I'd stick to Busch for beirut, cause the ladies might just puke around 2 am.

Overall this is a beer that will find its way into my gut again sooner rather than later. I'm glad Stone put out something everyone will enjoy, even my motha.

Photo of Jesstyr
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz dark brown bottle into a McChouffe chalice (just what I had lying around). Served with brilliant mahogany beef stew on an exceptionally snowy evening.

A: Dark brown, with amber hue. Short, thick head, that is light brown.

S: I got a bit too much alcohol in this scent, which is surprising considering the lower ABV. Otherwise hints of caramel and a strong aroma of hops.

T: Not particularly dynamic, but good medium body with strong maltiness. Again i get a significant bit of caramel, and a little too much alcohol. A little nutty on the finish.

M/D: The beer is a little dry, which affects the mouthfeel, particularly with the lightly bitter finish. Medium body, low ABV and overall experience makes it quite drinkable.

Photo of grub
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle. sampled at volo as part of their stone release party feb 7/2010.

pours crystal clear deep red with nice ruby and garnet hues. a small dense tan head forms, dropping slowly and leaving lots of lace.

aroma is good. grapefruit, orange, tangerine, bit of pine. hint of alcohol, but not much more than a hint. cracker. bit of biscuit. white bread. caramel and light toffee. light herbal character.

taste is good. light caramel and toffee. white bread. light biscuit. cracker. grapefruit and orange. bit of tangerine. hint of pine. very light alcohol. slightly toasty.

mouthfeel is good. medium-light body. medium carbonation level.

drinkability is great. well balanced. tons of complexity and flavour packed into a relatively low ABV beer. this would be a regular drinker were it available to me all the time, and it's one i'll certainly be picking up again. good stuff!

Photo of Aenema
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a clear, deep mahogany. Two-finger, soapy off-white head with excellent retention. Nice banding.
Smell - Citrusy hops, sweet, bready malt.
Taste - Very nicely balanced between citrusy hops and sweet caramel/bready malts.
Mouthfeel - Creamy, moderately highly carbonated.
Drinkability - Lots of flavor and yet still light.
Overall - Tremendous head retention and creamy mouthfeel out of a bottle. Lots of great flavor for such a low-octane beer. Definitely one I will come back to.

Photo of kpoole25
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty good beer, and good flavor-to-abv ratio, they did a good job on this. 12 oz bottle to glass. Darker than I expected, a bit like a dark ice tea. Smell is a little bit of hop and malt. Taste is a bit dry, quite a bit of carbonation, but otherwise has a typical west coast pale ale flavor profile. Not sure what the calories are but would be interesting to compare to, say, Sam Adams light.

Photo of drabmuh
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter. Beer is amber to brown and clear. Forms a thin white head of small bubbles that breaks up into a diffused head that fails to cover the top of the beer. Carbonation is moderate to low and the head leaves lacing on the glass.

Aroma is strongly hoppy. Good citrus hop aroma and a slight sweetness. Smells really really good.

Beer is medium bodied and has a good hop character to it. There is a lot of bitterness at the back end. I love session beers, I truly and seriously do. This is one of the best session beers available. Its cheap and wonderful. Second taste, some sweetness up front, mouthfeel and drinkability are good.

Photo of Lldeegan
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark amber-brown with a fine, minimal off-white head. It is cloudy at first due to chill chill haze.

The smell is initially of pine and floral hop notes, which are followed by some sweet malt.

Right off the bat, this beer delivers a healthy dose of hop bitterness. The sweet malt up front almost instantly fades to the hop flavors, which are pretty mild for a Stone beer, but Oh-so pleasing to the palate. Great green and grassy pine flavors, and a hint of citrusy grapefruit that gives it a great bright, crisp taste.

The beer has a medium mouthfeel and a good helping of carbonation, which make for a refreshing, yet bold and flavorful experience.

The light hop elements and the refreshing quality contributed by the citrus flavor as well as the effervescence from carbonation create a crisp and sessionable beer. One sip demands another.

In my opinion, this beer would be great for a late fall afternoon or early springtime drink. The combinations of refreshment and bold flavors make for a nice transition time beer that goes great before the cold and the accompanying heavy stouts, but also great before the wheat beers and seasonals of summer.


Photo of MrDanno96
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Sam Adams perfect pour glass.

A: Pours a nice looking amber color that has golden hues when held up to light. About 2 fingers of cotton head with tons of sticky lacing. Most of the foamy head dissipated after a few minutes.

S: I could smell hops even as I poured it from bottle to glass. Close inspection reveals more of the same: a strong dose of hops with a mixture of pine and sweet tropical fruit. I'd even go as far to say pineapple juice. Not how I would expect an amber ale to smell, but yummy nonetheless.

T/M: Much more typical amber ale here. A slightly sweet malt backbone with some bitter hops on the finish. The mouthfeel is surprisingly (and sadly) thin and watery with lots of carbonation. I feel that this takes away from the flavor somewhat.

O: Everything about this beer is nice except for the feel. It needs more body IMHO. I'm a big Stone fan, but I think they missed the mark a bit with this one. However, at 4.4% abv it's still a decently tasting brew that's easily sessionable.

Photo of deapokid
4.58/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a vibrant red and caramel color with a thin, one finger head and great lacing. The amber coloration glows in direct light, making for an incredibly clean and sediment-free liquid.

Aromas remind me of ripe citrus and the tartness of dried fruit. Hop scent is also very present, balancing out some of the strong fruit scents.

Fruit and hop are also the focus when it comes to flavor. Beer is delightfully brisk and very easy to consume. It manages to balance the sweet and the scratchy and it's good to see a light session beer from the usually big beer oriented Stone.

The liquid is extremely smooth and well-balanced, hitting the tongue in one fell swoop with a tiny burst of hop scratch at the end. The mouthfeel and low ABV make this one dangerously drinkable and Stone's ability to walk the line between sweet fruit and strong hop is a delight to behold.

Photo of smcolw
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Modest, but lasting head; leaves a ring after each sip. Color is orange-amber with a light haze.

Good fresh hop bitterness to the nose.

Stark hop bitterness but it is not overwhelming. Thin body with a high level of carbonation--it feels like a seltzer. Smooth crystal malt flavor on the initial sip. Quite dry.

Levitation Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 3,728 ratings.